A creative blog,

with reason.

Posts Tagged ‘ Musings ’

Lessons From a Failed Hard Drive and Failed Genius

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

So last week I had an unexpected problem with my MacBook Pro when it just stopped working… Uh oh:

Uh Oh

I guessed based on what was going on that it was a problem with the hard drive and decided to schedule an appointment with the “Geniuses” at the Apple Store [Mistake 1].

I was running late due to an accident on the highway, so I politely called to say I’d be a few minutes late [Mistake 2], the nice woman I talked to said:

No problem, I booked you a backup appointment in case you can’t get here on time.

So I showed up about 5 or 10 minutes late for my appointment and I wasn’t listed as still having an appointment at that time, but instead for 2 or 3 hours later. I explained the situation and the “concierge” said they could still get me in at my original appointment time because the woman with an appointment before me wasn’t finished yet… Nor did her appointment finish for a while. So I sat there waiting patiently… fast forward a 1/2 hour and the “Genius” tells me that since I missed my appointment he would try to fit me in between his next appointment… Which of course, is wrong, because he was running 30 or 40 minutes late for my appointment. I explain the situation, he looks at my Mac and says:

I think it’s the hard drive

Umm, really, Genius, me too. Got anything to help confirm that suspicion?

Well I could try a boot DVD or drive?

That would be great since I’m here and all, and by this point I’ve been here about an hour. For the next hour or two he tries this to no avail, asks me if I brought the original Leopard install disk with me [mistake 3] and of course, I didn’t. He explains he can’t confirm it’s the hard drive without taking out the hard drive (?) and if I want the repair it’ll cost upwards of $300, at which point I said I’d be happy to do it myself.  My only real reason for bringing it in was to confirm it wasn’t a logic board or something worse, nevertheless, I left went to Best Buy and bought a new hard drive (after googling it myself since the Best Buy staff had no clue what size hard drive fits in a MacBook Pro).

I followed these great instructions on iFix for replacing my hard drive, and in the process fixed my loose bluetooth antenna and put it all back together.  

So I take the laptop to the office, install that boot DVD the goofball from the Apple Store told me about and tried to restore from my Time Machine backup that I had from about an hour before my Mac crashed, waited three and a half hours and… nothing. ugh

Why? Well since I’m running Snow Leopard, I can’t restore from a Leopard install disk. Thanks again guy at Apple Store.

So after another 3 hours of booting from Snow Leopard install DVD, success, MacBook Pro is working, good as new (faster / bigger hard drive, better Wireless antenna).

What did I learn in this process? Well a few things:

  • The Apple Store does not really employ geniuses
  • It’s not that hard to fix items on a Mac yourself (if you are a techie)
  • Time Machine alone makes a Mac worth the cost (my Vista laptop’s backup process – ugly and horribly slow)
  • I’m still a Mac and now I’m faster.


Death to IE6

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

As I’ve pointed out twice (my plea to corporate America here & during a poll here), I’m on the bandwagon of those trying to kill IE6. As a web developer it hurts every time you’re forced to support it. It adds hours of frustrating wasted time to every project and as I point out in my plea to corporate America: It’s old, really old and full of holes.   I’ve gone as far as prompting IE6 visitors to this site to download an upgrade by use of a modal popup.

Now more than ever, this movement is gaining steam:

  • There is now an article at Mashable about killing IE6
  • News that Youtube will kill it’s support for IE6
  • And Digg wanted to, but realized that the reason people use it is because they have no choice (locked down XP computers without being able to upgrade).

But by far the funniest of all I’ve seen yet is this – IE6ify any website. This tool will make the site look likes it being shown in IE6 (to a developer). Basically it breaks your page.  Enjoy the fun that I and so many have experienced trying to use CSS on IE6 in this replicator. (H/T to Logan)

Cool Fever Induced Dream

Friday, May 15th, 2009

I had a dream that there was a free book inside of an Entrepreneur magazine.  Inside the book was a free 3G iphone and two other things (which I can’t remember, but both were cool).

Granted I had this dream while sick with a fever. So it was a little weird, but wouldn’t that be a great giveaway? A book that also had a giveaway of an iphone would be awesome.

Dear Enterprise-Rent-A-Car

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Got this email from Enterprise earlier today and felt compelled to reply to their warm subject line.


My Response

Dear Enterprise, I’m sorry, it’s not you, it’s me. I’m just not ready to have those feelings for a rental car company and I love my wife.

I know you miss me, and there are times I miss you too, but someday we’ll look back at the time we had together and realize that rental car companies shouldn’t be this close or personal with their customers. No hard feelings? I’ll keep you mind if the price is right on future travel plans and I appreciate your heartfelt email.

Warm Regards,

Brian Schwartz

My ‘Time’ Wishlist

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Do you have any geeky / creative things you’d do if only had the time and the money time?

The idea for this post came about when I was setting up this blog.  For once, I had the time and the need to build a WordPress site (we’ll be migrating our Spoken Whirred blog to WordPress and I needed a site to test with).

 Cross one of the ole geek checklist.

  1. Setup a wordpress site
  2. What’s left on my geek checklist? Let’s see (off the top of my head):

  3. Build a web site / application in Ruby on Rails
  4. Build a facebook application
  5. Use Objective C or Cocoa (for a Mac app or iPhone) – (This one is totally unrealistic, because I’ll never have this much time)
  6. Use more jQuery / AJAX
  7. Help bring about the destruction of IE6.

Another wish list I have applies to more creative tasks:

  1. Take a photography class
  2. Learn how to use Illustrator better
  3. Actually use tags on my stock photo library so I can easily refer to them.
  4. Learn another movie making software (besides iMovie)
  5. Actually have the time to make some movies of Gabe.

What’s on your wish list?  Would any of these apply?  Should I store this list on 37things so I can keep track of these?